Search - Alvin Youngblood Hart :: Territory

Alvin Youngblood Hart
Genres: Blues, Folk, Pop
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1

San Francisco Bay Area performer Alvin Youngblood Hart established his credentials as an acoustic bluesman with his acclaimed 1996 debut, Big Mama's Door. To his credit, he's off in new directions with the first notes of T...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Alvin Youngblood Hart
Title: Territory
Members Wishing: 3
Total Copies: 0
Label: Hannibal
Original Release Date: 6/23/1998
Release Date: 6/23/1998
Genres: Blues, Folk, Pop
Styles: Contemporary Blues, Traditional Blues, Traditional Folk, Contemporary Folk
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 031257143127, 031257143165

Synopsis's Best of 1998
San Francisco Bay Area performer Alvin Youngblood Hart established his credentials as an acoustic bluesman with his acclaimed 1996 debut, Big Mama's Door. To his credit, he's off in new directions with the first notes of Territory. The western-swing opener "Tallacatcha" lets fans know from the get-go that Hart won't be bound by genre restrictions and, indeed, he explores everything from reggae to rock without ever seeming showy. As Hart's skills expand, so too will the perspectives of his listeners. --Steven Stolder

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CD Reviews

Uncharted ....
booknblueslady | Woodland, CA United States | 08/17/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Territory is an excursion into Alvin Youngblood Hart's adventure with music. Hart born in Oakland in 1963, uses music to discover the adventures in life and to weave common threads to connect his lifetime and history to the his influences and experiences. Although Hart was raised in Oakland he spent his Summers with his grand parents in the hill country of Northern Mississippi and while there he developed an appreciation for the countryside, learned to ride horses and learned about the diverse musicians and music of the Mississippi Delta. He was introduced to the work such musicians as Charlie Patton, Skip James, Ledbelly and Bukka White. His parents exposed him to the more recent blues of Jimmy Reed, BB King and Jimmy Witherspoon. Growing up in the 60's and 70's he was influenced by Jimi Hendrix and the Rolling Stones.Alvin Youngblood Hart is an impressive sight. He stands nearly 6'6" and weighs 250. He wears his hair in long dread locks and clothing of choice are flannel shirts and blue jeans. Watching him on stage is a rare treat. He is a skillful musician and vocalist who willingly takes chances and avoids being pigeonholed. How many blues musicians would choose to do a song as Dancing with Tears in My Eyes, composed in the 1920's by song writing team Al Dubin and Joe Burke, who are also known for "Tiptoe through the Tulips?"Territory is indeed an adventure covering many different song styles and influences from rock to country to folk to blues to psychedelic. This has been a rap against the cd by those who would choose that Hart be pigeonholed into only doing acoustic blues which he did so eloquently on Big Mama's Door. Thankfully he is willing to take chances and has presented us with this album which is expanding and enlightening to the listener. Territory is a mixture of original songs, Tallacatcha, Ouachita Run, Sallie Queen of the Pines, Countrycide, Just About to Go, Underway at Seven, Traditional Blues songs, Mama Don't Allow, John Hardy and Skip James' Illinois Blues, and psychedelic, Captain Beefheart's Ice Rose. The cd would be worth the price for the haunting song set in minor keys, Countrycide. Countrycide is a story of how Charlie and Ed Brown "used the injustice system to their complete disadvantage."The song starts :
"We have seen some dark days in the history of man
Tell you bout Saint Patrick day when the stuff hit the fan."and finishes
"We have seen some dark days in the history of man
Broken hearts, stolen lives and tales of stolen land."The cd gets underway with Tallacatcha an original which the listener might want to foxtrot to. Alvin plays both lap steel and electric guitar on this and is accompanied by piano, fiddle and bass. Tallacatcha is a Choctaw word meaning "river of pearl." Hart sings, "Everyone knows her name ain't Rose, They all call her Tallacatcha."The cd ends with Underway at Seven, which is an instrumental with echoes of the Rolling Stones. Hart works solo, once more playing the lap steel and electric guitar. It is a fitting end to the album, a sleepy slow song with beautiful notes leisurely weaving throughout."
Charting Territory: A Refreshing & Eclectic Romp
booknblueslady | 07/12/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In the oxygen-starved climate of a music industry increasingly bent on compartmentalizing (and marginalizing) its artists, Alvin Youngblood Hart's "Territory" is a breath of fresh air. The album's stylstic breadth coupled with Hart's seemingly inexhaustible multi-instrumental skills sound a wake-up call for the virtues of musical diversity. Listen and you'll hear the sound of music, not the clanging of cash registers.Unlike the reviewer from San Francisco, I would applaud Hart's record company for its open-mindedness, as I would applaud Hart for choosing not to record another version of "Big Mama's Door," something a less secure and less adventurous artist might attempt in the wake of its widespread critical acclaim. The creature comforts of pigeon-holing creative impulse is a sad comment on our own cultural vision. Hannibal and its parent, Rykodisc, are labels predicated on eclecticism. How rare and refreshing to find a musician following his muse and being supported by a record company on the journey.A "Territory" that includes buoyant western swing, mesmerizing acoustic blues, haunting lap steel reveries, driving bluebeat ska, fractured waltz time, Tex-Mex mandolin and high-wire feats of multi-metered Captain Beefheart guitar is one where I could happily travel, let alone settle down.In the hands of one man, it's a remarkable trip. As rough-hewn as he is note-perfect, Hart is an amazingly talented musician, whose wealth of musical skills, passions and knowledge one would expect to be the provence of three men, not one. The sheer resolve and authenticity with which he inhabits his landscapes is extraordinary. This CD is an exemplary early step in what should be a long and endlessly eclectic career."
Lots to like (even some blues)
john | The District | 09/12/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"When the first song started, I thought I was listening to the wrong disc. "Tallacatcha" is a Texas swing number that's unlike anything heard from Mr. Hart before. Guess it was good to know right up front that this disc is not going to be limited to any style of music, with (of course) blues, acoustic mandolin, accordion waltz (or is it two step?), 70's style electric rock, and ska (yes, ska!) also represented.

That ska song ("Just About to Go") is a lot of fun, but the acoustic blues cuts are still the best songs on the disc, with "Illinois Blues" and "Mama Don't Allow" as exceptional examples. While some songs don't work (most notably the 70's rock inspired "Ice Rose") the disc as a whole successfully weaves a rich textured moody musical/lyrical tapestry.